Estimated burden of fungal infections in Panama

Cristel Rodríguez-Vargas, Ana Alastruey-Izquierdo, David W Denning, Ana Belén Araúz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Data published on Panamanian fungal disease are scarce, mostly case reports. To date, there is no paper that compiles the burden of fungal disease Here we estimate for the first time the incidence and prevalence of fungal diseases in Panama. Data on fungal disease were obtained from different search engines: PubMed, Google Scholar, Scielo and Lilacs. For population and at risk diseases, we used statistics from worldometer, UNAIDS, and WHO. Incidence, prevalence, and absolute numbers were calculated based on the population at risk. Panamanian population in 2022 was 4,429,739. We estimated that 85,530 (1.93 %) people suffer from fungal diseases. The most frequent fungal infection was recurrent Candida vaginitis (3320/100,000). There are 31,000 HIV-infected people in Panama and based on the number of cases not receiving anti-retroviral therapy (14,570), and previous reports of prevalence of opportunistic infections, we estimated annual incidences of 4.0/100,000 for cryptococcal meningitis, 29.6/100,000 for oral candidiasis, 23.2/100,000 for esophageal candidiasis, 29.3/100,000 for Pneumocystis pneumonia, 15.1/100,000, and for histoplasmosis. For chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA) and fungal asthma we used data from Guatemala and Colombia to estimate COPD and asthma prevalence and WHO report for tuberculosis. We estimated annual incidences of 6.1/100,000 for invasive aspergillosis and prevalence of 31.7/100,000 for CPA, 60.5/100,000 for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, and 79.9/100,000 for severe asthma with fungal sensitisation. Other incidence estimates were 5.0/100,000 for candidaemia, 0.20/100,000 for mucormycosis, and 4.99/100,000 for fungal keratitis. Even though this report on burden of fungal disease is a forward step, more epidemiological studies to validate these estimates are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101466
JournalJournal de Mycologie Medicale
Issue number1
Early online date17 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Histoplasmosis
  • Mucorales
  • Paracoccidioidomycosis
  • Pneumocystis
  • Sporotrichosis


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